Album review: ROD STEWART – Sir Rod Stewart and some of his early faces

ROD STEWART - Sir Rod Stewart and some of his early faces

The Store For Music [Release date 21.10.16] 2-CD

When ‘Sir’ precedes Rod’s name, and the album artwork features a Spitting Image/ Newzoid caricature of the man, it’s natural to have some doubts about the depths that have been plumbed to produce this 2 CD set.  After all, his early years have been well catalogued in comprehensive collections such as the excellent Storyteller anthology (1989).

Scrape below the surface, and the unsuspecting purchaser may not get quite what they expect as most of the second disc – which features some of Rod’s greatest hits – ‘Maggie May’, ‘First Cut Is The Deepest’, ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’, ‘Hot Legs’, ‘You Wear It Well’, and ‘Sailing’ – doesn’t feature the man himself, but are tribute covers fronted by Chris Farlowe, FM crooner Steve Overland, Paul Di Anno (Iron Maiden), Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann’s Earthband), Doogie White (Rainbow & MSG) and Nicky Moore (Samson).

Compiled by Brian Adams, who promoted The Faces in the early 1970′s, the first CD is a collection of ‘available’ 1960′s recordings made before the formation of The Faces.  A few did, in fact, make it onto Storyteller, but aside from historical interest they’re very much ‘of their time’ and indicative of the early days of the blues rock explosion in the mid 60′s.  One suspects that completists will already have them in their collections.  But for those with little more than a love a Rod’s mainstream career, they’ll be of no real interest.

The same can be said for the first two tracks that kick off the second CD – two tracks by Blind Melon – the band that transformed into The Faces.  And then there’s the ‘covers’.  Frankly, I see little point in attempting faithful reproductions – good as they are – of such iconic numbers, although it has to be said, Chris Thompson absolutely ‘nails’ Stewart’s vocals.  But really, it’s nothing more than highly polished karaoke.

Forgive me for being sceptical, but Christmas is coming, coffers need to be topped up, and you can’t but help but think this is just a hopeful money spinner.  The 4 disc, comprehensive Storyteller – now available at bargain basement prices is a far, far, better investment.  Buyers beware.  **1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

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